- Scot chosen to lead Europe on home soil
- “It’s a great honour and a dream come true to be the captain at home in Scotland”
Catriona Matthew has been appointed as European captain for the next Solheim Cup, which will take place on the world-famous PGA Centenary Course at The Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, Scotland, on 13-15 September 2019.
Matthew made her ninth appearance as a player for the European team at Des Moines Golf and Country Club in Iowa last month, having served as a vice-captain to Annika Sörenstam.
Selected as the travelling alternate by the captain, she stepped into the player role after Suzann Pettersen withdrew through injury and the Scot proved to be one of the stars of the team, earning three points for Europe from her four matches.
With a career total of 22 Solheim Cup points, Matthew moved up to third on the all-time points list, behind Laura Davies (25) and Sörenstam (24). She also moved into joint third with Cristie Kerr on the all-time match victories list, with 18 career match wins, behind only Davies and Sörenstam with 22 apiece.
Now Matthew is looking forward to her next challenge: leading Europe to its sixth victory over the United States of America. She said: “It’s a great honour and a dream come true to be the captain at home in Scotland. Since my first appearance in 1998, I have always loved playing in The Solheim Cup. It’s always such an incredible atmosphere and over the years that I’ve played, I’ve enjoyed it more and more. From the extremely high standard of play, to the enormous crowds, huge infrastructure and fantastic media coverage, the event just keeps getting bigger and better. Scotland will provide the perfect stage for The 2019 Solheim Cup and Gleneagles will be a terrific venue. I was lucky enough to win there in 1998 and there is nothing better than winning in your home country.”
The outgoing captain, Annika Sörenstam, who was also Matthew’s first Solheim Cup partner at Muirfield Village in 1998, commented: “I am very happy that Catriona was chosen as the next Solheim Cup captain for Team Europe. She has had a wonderful Solheim Cup career and she deserves the opportunity to take on this prestigious role. With the next Solheim Cup taking place in Scotland, her home country, it’s the perfect scenario for her to lead the European Team. She helped us a lot over the past year as a vice-captain, but then stepped in and won us three points as a player. Catriona is very well respected by the players, so she is a natural choice.”
The Ladies European Tour’s Chairman, Mark Lichtenhein, (pictured above left, with Catriona Matthew), said: “Everyone at the Ladies European Tour is absolutely delighted that Catriona has accepted the captaincy. Her experience, combined with her outstanding record and passion for The Solheim Cup, make her the perfect choice to lead Team Europe and not just because, as a Scot, she will be leading on home soil. Catriona’s contribution to the European Team over nine editions has been immense and her performance in Des Moines was simply brilliant. As the captain, she will continue to inspire not just her own team, but millions of fans around the world.”
Commenting on the appointment, The Right Honourable Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland MSP, said: “I’m thrilled to offer my congratulations to Catriona Matthew on being named the European Team Captain for The 2019 Solheim Cup at Gleneagles. Catriona is without doubt one of Scotland’s most successful sporting icons and I am delighted that she has been given the honour of captaining the European side in her home country. I have no doubt that Catriona will prove to be an inspiration as captain as she has done throughout her playing career and serve as a role model for thousands of junior golfers, not just in Scotland but across the globe. I’m confident the people of Scotland will get fully behind Catriona’s captaincy and line the fairways of Gleneagles in support of the European team come September 2019.”
“We’re delighted with the choice of Catriona Matthew as the 2019 European Solheim Cup captain,” said John A. Solheim, PING Chairman & CEO. “She’s an excellent and deserving choice for many reasons. As a nine-time participant in The Solheim Cup with an incredible record of 18-11-8, Catriona brings tremendous experience to a team that is determined to reclaim the event on home soil. Of course, leading the team in her home country of Scotland will undoubtedly inspire her and add even more excitement and passion to the galleries at Gleneagles which we know will be large and supportive. I’ve long admired Catriona’s calm, quiet and thoughtful approach to the game which will serve her very well as she prepares and motivates her team to reach its goal of winning The Solheim Cup.”
Matthew played in nine Solheim Cups from 1998-2017 (1998, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017) and was a member of three victorious teams, in 2003, 2011 and 2013.
She joined the Ladies European Tour in 1995 and won her maiden LET title at the 1998 McDonald’s WPGA Championship on the King’s Course at Gleneagles in the same year that she made her Solheim Cup debut at Muirfield Village in Ohio.
Her first home match was at Barsebäck in Sweden in 2003, when, as a captain’s pick, she earned 3 ½ points and holed the winning putt in her singles match against Rosie Jones, in front of some of the largest galleries ever witnessed in the competition.
On her second winning side at Killeen Castle in Ireland, she earned 3 points for the European team, including an an emphatic 6 and 5 victory over Paula Creamer in the opening singles match.
In 2013, Matthew was a member of the first European team to win in the United States and secured the half point to win the Cup outright at Colorado Golf Club.
The 48-year-old from North Berwick, who counts the 2009 Ricoh Women’s British Open among her 10 international titles, becomes the 10th European captain, following Mickey Walker, Pia Nilsson, Dale Reid, Catrin Nilsmark, Helen Alfredsson, Alison Nicholas, Liselotte Neumann, Carin Koch and Annika Sörenstam.
About The Solheim Cup:
The Solheim Cup combines the tradition and prestige of the game of golf with passion for one’s country and continent. This biennial, trans-Atlantic team match-play competition features the best European players from the Ladies European Tour (LET) and the best U.S. players from the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour. The Solheim Cup is named in honour of Karsten Solheim, the founder of Karsten Manufacturing Corporation, which makes PING golf equipment. In 1990, the Solheim family, in conjunction with the LET and the LPGA, developed the concept and became the title sponsor for the Solheim Cup, professional golf’s international match-play competition for women. Today, the global partners of The Solheim Cup are PING, Scotland, The Home of Golf, and Rolex. Held every two years, the event has grown into the most prestigious international women’s professional golf team event. The Solheim Cup is the most highly coveted trophy in women’s professional golf team competition; some of the most memorable moments in the sport have happened during past Solheim Cups and berths on the European and U.S. teams are highly sought-after by players from both organisations. The 2017 Solheim Cup took place on August 14-20 at Des Moines Country Club in Iowa, United States. The U.S. Team retained the coveted Waterford Crystal prize by 16 ½ to 11 ½ points. For more information log on to www.solheimcup.com.
EventScotland is working to make Scotland the perfect stage for events. By developing an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events EventScotland is helping to raise Scotland’s international profile and boost the economy by attracting more visitors. For further information about EventScotland, its funding programmes and latest event news visit www.EventScotland.org. Follow EventScotland on Twitter @EventScotNews. EventScotland is a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, the national tourism organisation which markets Scotland as a tourism destination across the world, gives support to the tourism industry and brings sustainable tourism growth to Scotland. For more information about VisitScotland see www.visitscotland.org or for consumer information on Scotland as a visitor destination see www.visitscotland.com.
About the Ladies European Tour:
The Ladies European Tour (LET) celebrates women’s professional golf on a global stage. In 2017, the schedule features tournaments across five continents, including The Solheim Cup, with a diverse membership of 324 professional golfers representing 38 countries worldwide. Since its formation in 1978, the Ladies European Tour has witnessed 248 different winners celebrate a total of 719 championship titles between them, and has celebrated its diversity as players from 28 different countries have won on the Tour. The Ladies European Tour broadcasts live coverage of its tournaments to more than 304 million homes in more than 116 countries every week, generating 425 global broadcast hours per tournament. It also enjoys the support of many of the world’s leading business brands. The Ladies European Tour also manages the LET Access Series, which is its official developmental tour, formed to give players not part of any major Tour the opportunity to compete and progress onto the LET. The top five players on the 2017 LETAS Order of Merit will earn membership of the Ladies European Tour for 2018.
Located one hour from Glasgow and Edinburgh, The Gleneagles Hotel is set in an 850-acre estate, with its own railway station just minutes away. Gleneagles is synonymous with golf, and home to three championship golf courses – The PGA Centenary Course – venue for the Ryder Cup 2014 – and the stunning King’s and Queen’s Courses. But there’s even more to keep guests entertained off the course: a choice of more than twenty activities can be found in the grounds, from clay target shooting, archery and trout fishing on three lochs within the resort’s estate, to horse-riding, Segway tours and gun dog training. Throughout the hotel you will find the finest comfort – from its 232 luxury bedrooms and suites, to the calming environment of the spacious destination spa by ESPA, home to one of only two ESPA Life wellness centres in the world. Gourmands will have plenty to discover, with four on-site restaurants, including Scotland’s only two Michelin-starred restaurant Andrew Fairlie.